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:: Classification in Paralympic: ::
 | Post date: 2012/08/29 | 
The Paralympic Movement offers sport opportunities for athletes that have a primary impairment that belongs to one of the following 10 ‘eligible’ impairment types: • Impaired muscle power Impairments in this category have in common that there is reduced force generated by the contraction of a muscle or muscle groups (e.g. muscles of one limb, one side of the body, the lower half of the body). Examples of condtions included in this category are para and quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, post poliomyelitis, spina bifida.
 • Impaired passive range of movement
 Range of movement in one or more joint is reduced in systematical way. Note that hypermobility of joints, joint instability (e.g. shoulder dislocation), and acute conditions of reduced range of movement (e.g. arthritis types of impairment) typically will be excluded as ‘eligible impairment’.
Limb deficiency
There is a total or partial absence of the bones or joints as a consequence of trauma (e.g. traumatic amputation), illness (e.g. bone cancer) or congenital limb deficiency (e.g. dysmelia)
 • Leg length difference
 Due to congenital deficiency or trauma, bone shortening occurs in one leg.
Short stature
 Standing height is reduced due to aberrant dimensions of bones of upper and lower limbs or trunk (e.g. achondoplasia)
 A condition marked by an abnormal increase in muscle tension and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch. Hypertonia may result from injury, disease, or conditions that involve damage to the central nervous system. When the injury occurs in children under the age of 2, the term cerebral palsy is often used, but it also can be due to brain injury (e.g. stroke, trauma) or multiple sclerosis.
 • Ataxia
 Ataxia is a neurological sign and symptom that consists of a lack of co-ordination of muscle movements. When the injury occurs in children under the age of 2, the term cerebral palsy is often used, but it also can be due to brain injury (e.g. stroke, trauma) or multiple sclerosis.
Athetosis can vary from mild to severe motor dysfunction. It is generally characterized by unbalanced, involuntary movements of muscle tone and a difficulty maintaining a symmetrical posture. When the injury occurs in children under the age of 2, the term cerebral palsy is often used, but it also can be due to brain injury (e.g. stroke, trauma).
 • Vision impairment
Vision is impacted by either an impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves or optical pathways, or visual cortex of the central brain.
Intellectual Impairment
 The Paralympic Movement identifies intellectual impairment as “a disability characterized by significant limitation both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before the age of 18” (American Association on Intellectual and Development Disability, 2010). The diagnostics of intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior must be made using internationally recognized and professionally administered measures as recognized by INAS (International Federation for sport for para-athletes with an intellectual disability).
The Paralympic Movement adopted the definitions for the eligible impairment types as described in the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (2001, World Health Organization, Geneva) Each Paralympic Sport has to clearly define for which impairment groups they provide sports opportunities. This is described in the Classification Rules of each sport. While some sports include athletes of all impairment types (e.g. Athletics, Swimming), other sports are limited to one impairment type (e.g. Goalball, Boccia) or a selection of impairment types (e.g. Equestrian, Cycling) The presence of an applicable eligible impairment is a prerequisite but not the sole criterion of entry into a particular Paralympic Sport.
 Classification - Fair and equal competition
To ensure competition is fair and equal, all Paralympic sports have a system in place which ensures that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for able bodied athletes. This process is called classification and its purpose is to minimise the impact of impairments on the activity (sport discipline). Having the impairment thus is not sufficient. The impact on the sport must be proved, and each in Paralympic sport, the criteria of grouping athletes by the degree of activity limitation resulting from the impairment are named ‘Sport Classes’. Through classification, it is determined which athletes are eligible to compete in a sport and how athletes are grouped together for competition. This, to a certain extent, is similar to grouping athletes by age, gender or weight. Classification is sport-specific because an impairment affects the ability to perform in different sports to a different extent. As a consequence, an athlete may meet the criteria in one sport, but may not meet the criteria in another sport Classification in Paralympic:
 Athlete Evaluation
When an athlete first starts competing he/she undergoes a process to verify the above criteria are met. This process is conducted by a classification panel, a group of individuals authorized and certified by a Sport Federation to determine the sport class of an athlete. The process (typically) includes:
 • the verification of the presence of an eligible impairment for that sport • physical and technical assessment to exam the degree of activity limitation
 • the allocation of a sport class
• the observation in competition When undergoing athlete evaluation, an athlete is only classified for one sport. If an athlete is not eligible to compete in a sport, this does not question the presence of a genuine impairment. It means:
 • that the Athlete does not have a primary impairment that makes him/her eligible to compete in that particular sport, or
 • that the severity of the impairment does not significantly impact on the activities required in that particular sport. Due to the progressive nature of some impairment and their impact on certain activities, athletes are sometimes classified a number of times throughout their career. When the medical condition of an athlete changes, he/she needs to inform the Sport as well and ask for re-assessment. To compete at international level, an athlete must be classified by an International Classification Panel and their decision overrules any previous classification decision taken by a national classification panel. As a result of the sport specific classification systems, each sport has its own classifiers. For example, an IPC Ice Sledge Hockey classifier is only certified to classify athletes for this sport, and not for other sports. Source:http://www.paralympic.org/Classification/Introduction
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:: Asian Para Games concludes with flame and spirit to stay forever ::


Asian Para Games concludes with flame and spirit to stay forever

The inaugural Asian Para Games saw the curtain rolled down in the Aoti Main Stadium here on Sunday evening, with the flame and spirit to be kept in Guangzhou forever.

Guangzhou, December 19 - The inaugural Asian Para Games saw the curtain rolled down in the Aoti Main Stadium here on Sunday evening, with the flame and spirit to be kept in Guangzhou forever.


Dancers perform during the Closing Ceremony for the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Gaems in Guangzhou, capital city of south China's Guangdong Province, on December 19, 2010 . (Xinhua/Han Chuanhao)

Attending the press briefing was APC President Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin, Vice Mayor of Guangzhou Municipality Chen Guo, APC Secretary General Ms Malini Rajasegaran, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Media & Communications Senior Manager Craig Spence.
APC President Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin thanked Guangzhou citizens for bringing the world a splendid and marvellous gala, which became an example for future Asian Para Games. In this gala, several world records and Asian records have been broken and the values of the Asian Para Games have been spread all over the world. He also thanked volunteers, technical officials for their devotion and said the spirit of the Games will continue.
Chen Guo, Deputy Secretary General of GAPGOC and Vice Mayor of Guangzhou Municipality, introduced that the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games was the first sports meeting for athletes with a disability after the foundation of the APC.
Some 2,512 athletes of delegations from 41 countries and regions of Asia as well as 1,286 team officials, 1,096 technical officials and 2,558 reporters from 185 media took part in the gala. "The athletes made their efforts to the success, and their courage and persistence earned our respects," said Chen. Till 15:30 on December 18, 74 athletes from 13 delegations had broken 82 Asian records 74 times, and 31 delegations had shared medals; up to December 17, over 470,000 spectators had been in attendance.
The Closing Ceremony of the Asian Para Games on Sunday will mark the conclusion of two Asian Games.
According to Chen, preparations for the Closing Ceremony of Asian Para Games have been accomplished. GAPGOC will share the theme of "We cheer We share We win" with the world and leave the whole Asia and the world with "beautiful, passionate and charitable" impressions of Guangzhou.
The subject of the Closing Ceremony Performance is "You make the world different", composed of three charters "Sky and Sea", "Leaf and Vein" And "Light and Dream", and the gala will feature celebrations for athletes from 41 countries and regions of Asia, totally 41 minutes long.
The Ceremony will comprise several parts including the parade of athletes, flowers presentation for volunteers, remarks by distinguished guests, holy flame putting out ceremony, flag lowering ceremony and handover ceremony to Incheon, Korea, the host city of the 2014 Asian Games and Asian Para Games.
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:: IPC Celebrates 50 Years After Rome ::

IPC Celebrates 50 Years After Rome

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) today celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Opening Ceremony for the Rome 1960 Paralympic Games.

Being the first time that the Paralympic Games were put together and assembled to be equivalent to the Olympics in the same city, the event marked a tremendous step in sport for athletes with a disability. Today, the IPC is proud to look back 50 years ago and remember the strong milestone that the Rome 1960 Games were, and the people who made it all possible.

Founder of the Paralympic Movement Sir Ludwig Guttmann and Director of the Spinal Centre in Rome Antonia Maglio started preparations two years prior in 1958 to stage what was called the 9th Annual International Stoke Mandeville Games (the term “Paralympic Games” was only approved by the International Olympic Committee later in 1984). Now regarded as the Rome 1960 Paralympics, the event took place from 18-25 September supported by the Italian Institute for Disabled Workers (INAIL) and the Italian Olympic Committee, six days after the Closing Ceremony of the XVII Olympic Summer Games.

The Opening Ceremony on 18 September saw a crowd of 5,000 spectators greeting the colourful entry of the wheelchair athletes at the Acqua Acetosa stadium. Camillo Giardina, the Italian Minister for Public Health at the time, had declared the Games open to the world. It was the largest international Games to date with 400 athletes from 23 countries, with the largest delegation coming from the host country.

The competitive programme included eight sport events considered beneficial and suitable for athletes with spinal cord injuries: Snooker, Fencing (foil or sabre), Javelin and Precision Javelin, Shot Put, Indian Club Throwing (throwing a baton), Men’s Basketball and Swimming (Freestyle, Breaststroke and Backstroke). Other events which took place included Table Tennis (singles and doubles), Archery, Dart Archery and the Pentathlon (Archery, Swimming, Javelin, Shot Put and Club Throwing).

The Closing Ceremony on 25 September was held in the Palazetto dello Sport in the Olympic Village in the presence of Sir Guttmann and the Patron of the Games and wife of the Italian President Donna Carla Gronchi. Medals were presented in 57 different events, with Italy finishing on top, followed closely by Great Britain and USA.

At the time, Sir Guttmann summed up the Games saying, "the vast majority of competitors and escorts have fully understood the meaning of the Rome Games as a new pattern of re-integration of the paralyzed into society, as well as the world of sport."

The Paralympics have come a long way since the Rome 1960 Games.



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:: Athletics Starts Paralympic World Cup ::

25 May 2010
Athletics Starts Paralympic World Cup
Fierce competition in Athletics today officially started the 2010 BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, Great Britain.

The first race of the day was the Men’s 200m (T11-13). Ireland’s Jason Smyth (T13) took first place with a result of 22.07, followed by Portugal’s Luis Goncalves (T12) and Great Britain’s James Ball (T13). In the Women’s 200m (T44/46), Germany’s Katrin Green (T44) took first with her result of 28.86. Green was followed by New Zealand’s Kate Horan and Great Britain’s Stefanie Reid respectively.

Top Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (RSA) was in his best form, taking first in the Men’s 100m (T44) event. Finishing with a result of 11.33, Pistorius was followed by compatriot Arnu Fourie and Great Britain’s Ian Jones. In the Women’s 100m (T36/37), Germany’s Maria Seifert took first with her result of 14.47. Seifert was followed by Great Britain’s Katrina Hart and Jenny McLoughlin respectively.

In the Women’s 800m (T53/54) event, USA’s Tatyana McFadden (T54) took first with a result of 1:56.99. McFadden was followed by Canada’s Diane Roy and Great Britain’s Shelly Woods. For the Men’s 800m, Marcel Hug from Switzerland took first with a result of 1:38.54. Hug was followed by Great Britain’s David Weir and Thailand’s Prawat Wahoram.

The Women’s Shot Put (F12/13/40) competition had Tunisia’s Raoua Tlili (F40) take first. Following Tlili were China’s Genjimisu Meng and Great Britain’s Sophie Hancock respectively.

Today is the only day of the Athletics competition, with Football 7-a-Side beginning tomorrow. Football 7-a-Side is a new addition to the BT Paralympic World Cup programme this year, replacing Cycling which was on the programme in previous editions.

On 27 May, the popular Wheelchair Basketball competition begins, running for four full days. Swimming finishes the BT Paralympic World Cup on 31 May. The BBC, the official televised partner to the event, will broadcast live from the Manchester Aquatics Centre on the final day of Swimming on BBC Television.

British athletes will make up a large part of the contingent of nearly 300 athletes. For the first time this year, a team challenge has been introduced which sees Great Britain take on teams from the Americas, Europe and the Rest of the World, with athletes competing for the overall BT Paralympic World Cup trophy.


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:: Paralympic Sport Programme Launched in Australia ::

Paralympic Sport Programme Launched in Australia

14 May 2010

Vice President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and President of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Greg Hartung recently launched a new Paralympic Sport Programme at a ceremony in Canberra, Australia.

Together with Chief of the Defense Force Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, Mr. Hartung announced that the Australian Defense Force (ADF) Paralympic Sports Programme will deliver a wealth of benefits to members of the military with an acquired disability through access to the APC’s Paralympic Sport Programmes. The programme will aim to direct ADF members who acquire a disability through their employment.

The IPC Vice President said that the partnership with the ADF is an important step in growing the Australian Paralympic Movement by providing opportunities for wounded and injured Australian Defence Force members not previously available.

“Signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Defense’s Joint Health Command and the Australian Paralympic Committee is a significant step for Paralympic Sport in this country,” Mr Hartung said. “It opens up a wealth of possibilities for those ADF members who have acquired a disability to gain access to APC’s world class Sports Science, Sports Medicine and High Performance Coaching Programmes.”

Mr. Hartung continued, saying that both Australian Paralympians and members of the Australian Defense Force strive to do the best job possible and be the best they can be under the Australian flag.

"In this way, there is a natural connection between the APC and the ADF and we hope that through the extensive knowledge of our APC staff, this partnership is able to produce some world class athletes, as well as help ADF members who have acquired a disability to rehabilitate and move on with their lives," he said.
Through the partnership, the APC will work with the ADF to provide programme participants with advice on specialized physical fitness training and rehabilitation, effectively beginning the journey towards representing Australia at the Paralympic Games.

The ceremony also saw Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder Heath Francis, who spoke of the benefits Paralympic Sport has to offer after sustaining a serious injury.

“As an Australian Paralympic athlete, there is no greater thrill then competing at the Paralympic Games, and achieving success,” Francis said.

For more information about the Australian Paralympic Committee, please visit www.paralympic.org.au.

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:: International Wheelchair Rugby ::

 International Wheelchair Rugby

In a hard-hitting final against Canada, host country Australia took the win 57:52 at the International Wheelchair Rugby Four Nations tournament this past weekend.

Taking place on 2 May, Australia remained the overwhelming favourite of the hometown crowd at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre. The team led the Canadians at every change and rarely looked threatened in a display certain to give Australian coach Brad Dubberley immense confidence less than five months out from the World Championships in Vancouver.

Coach Dubberley said the Canadians were a phenomenal team, and this made the win great.

“It was a real team effort,” he said. “Everyone was committed and it goes a long way to showing what we are capable of.”

Although clearly disappointed to fall short of victory, Canadian coach Kevin Orr said his team will take plenty of positives out of the tournament as they prepare to win September’s World Championships on their home soil.

“We thought we did really well. This is really good preparation for us for the World Championships,” Orr said.

In the third place playoff held the same day, New Zealand prevailed with a stunning 53:52 victory over Great Britain in double overtime.


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:: World Cup 2010 ::

 World Cup 2010

May 01: Apart from a few uneven gravel patches, which the city promises to fix before the World Cup, wheelchair-user soccer fans will have a smooth ride from Cape Town station to the stadium along the Fan Walk.

You will need strong arms, though, unless you can persuade someone to push you.

The route through the city to the new Cape Town Stadium is fairly disabled-friendly.

Cape Town tourism authorities say the city has gone out of its way to make the World Cup an accessible and enjoyable experience for disabled soccer fans.

Cape Town Tourism chief executive Mariette du Toit-Helmbold said the city would ensure that disabled fans got to the stadium and fan parks in comfort.

Source: http://www.iol.co.za

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:: Scuba Diving ::

Scuba diver won't let disability deter his underwater pursuits

About 30 feet deep on Molasses Reef off Key Largo, Greg Rodriguez chased a barracuda, temporarily eluding his scuba-diving buddy, Jim Elliott. When Rodriguez and Elliott emerged about 45 minutes later, they were chuckling.

``You left me in your dust,'' Elliott said to Rodriguez.

Said Rodriguez: ``I thought we could catch him.''

What made this playful exchange remarkable is that three months ago, Rodriguez, 26, was confined to a wheelchair -- the result of a traumatic brain injury from a March 2006 car accident that left him in a coma for three weeks. Rodriguez, a Marine Corps veteran from Stickney, Ill., has trouble speaking and can only walk with a cane. But you would never know he was disabled by watching him zip around in the water.

``Diving has helped me a lot. It helps me with my frustrations,'' Rodriguez said. ``I'm a highly active individual and Marine. Due to my disability, I can no longer run. Once I get in the water, I feel that I'm completely buoyant and can dive around the whole world and not get tired.''

GOING TO DIVEHEARTRodriguez became a certified scuba diver more than two years ago through Diveheart -- a nonprofit organization near Chicago that trains people with a wide range of disabilities how to enjoy the underwater world. Diveheart also teaches able-bodied scuba divers how to be buddies and instructors. Elliott is founder and president of the group.

Since Rodriguez took up scuba diving, he said he has made two trips to Key Largo and one to Cozumel, Mexico. Rodriguez's last Key Largo plunge several weeks ago was a special treat because he and Elliott got to try out a new piece of equipment -- the Pegasus Thruster.

Invented by Dean Vitale of Miami, the thruster is a hands-free scooter that fastens onto a scuba tank. It weighs only about 5 pounds underwater and can propel a diver at speeds of up to two knots for 30 minutes on batteries. The diver simply pushes a button on a cord, and it goes.

Vitale briefed Rodriguez and Elliott on board the Rainbow Reef dive boat before turning them loose.

``I'll make sure the bracket is centered on your back. Keep the strap tight so it doesn't roll and keep your gear tight,'' Vitale said. ``The motor plugs directly into the battery. There's a one-second delay when you press that switch. It'll take you a whole three seconds to be a pro at it.''

Elliott nodded and looked at Rodriguez.

``So, be careful, dude. Don't lose me,'' Elliott said.

Elliott and several crew members helped Rodriguez into the water, and they were off, exploring Molasses Reef. Underwater photographer Sharon Baron trailed them, trying to snap photos.

``I couldn't keep up,'' she said.

ENJOYABLE TIMERodriguez was all smiles when he returned to the boat nearly an hour later.

``I enjoyed it,'' he said.

His diving buddy was intrigued by the possibilities of using Pegasus in Diveheart's training programs.

``This could change diving for people with disabilities,'' Elliott said. ``If somebody is mobility-impaired, it takes them a while to get around the reef.

``This gives them the potential to see a whole bunch of dive sites. It's really cool. They can control their own destiny with this thing. They can go out and have a lot of fun with it.''

By the second dive, Rodriguez was buzzing around the reef like James Bond in Thunderball. The Rainbow Reef staff eagerly took turns trying out the Pegasus so they could hang with Rodriguez and Elliott.

Rainbow Reef dive instructor Jardin MacDonald watched Rodriguez as he chased the barracuda.

``He chased that barracuda around for about five minutes,'' MacDonald said, shaking his head. ``It was awesome.''

The Miami Herald

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